A few months with the KEF LS50

Just before the shitshow shutdown, I was debating improving my desktop system with a new amp and set of speakers.  I’ve gotten the amp taken care of, as a previous article mentions.  I looked at a handful of smaller speakers to see what would fit my desk and still sound good.  I finally narrowed it down to two KEF systems, and the LS50 won out.

Appearance-wise, they’re a cool combination of black cabinet and rose gold speaker.  My only minor concern is that there are no grilles to deflect damage.  Not that we have a rough household, but accidents happen.

As I’m using them near a rear wall, I’ve installed the included port plugs.  These seem to match nicely with the small subwoofer I use under the desk–the way the sound disperses under and behind the desk, it coincidentally provides a seamless match with the speakers.  The LS50s themselves are a nice system.  The coherency is amazing–the concentric tweeter is really something special here.  What amazes me even more is now inert the cabinet is.  Under moderate volume, you can’t feel anything from the cabinets whatsoever.  No doubt this is a key to their uncolored performance throughout the mids and upper bass.

They still need to break in a bit, as I’ve also been playing my main system in the evenings.  I want to get proper stands so I can hear the LS50s correctly in my main system, rather than trying to find random bits and pieces to set them on.

I still have a dullness in my desktop system, though. Could I possibly have another dud amp?  I’ve changed both analog and digital interconnects.  The tubes I chose for the amp are not known to be dull.  I plan on trying it in my main system soon, as that’s ultimately what will tell me the most about how well it is reproducing music.  (I even went with 6CA7 tubes to try to avoid that mushy EL34 sound.)  Jury’s still out on the amp, but I really didn’t spend all that much on it either.  I could easily get a PS Audio Sprout100 or NAD D3020 (or similar model) that would work out well, and either would provide a better DAC than the DacMagic I’m using now.

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